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Introduction to BPMN Part I

BPMN allows us to capture and document business processes of an organization in a clear and consistent way, that ensures relevant stakeholders, such as, process owners and business users are involved in the process. Thus, the team can response to any issues identified in the processes more effectively. BPMN provide comprehensive and yet rich notations that can easily be understood by both technical and non-technical stakeholders.

Compatible edition(s): Enterprise, Professional, Standard, Modeler

  • November 07, 2014
  • Views: 109,059
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Here is a list of benefits BPMN provides:

  1. An industry standard developed by the OMG consortium, a not-for-profit industry group
  2. Provides businesses with the capability of defining and understanding their procedures through Business Process Diagrams
  3. To provide a standard notation that is readily understandable by all business stakeholders
  4. To bridge the communication gap that frequently occurs between business process design and implementation
  5. Simple to learn yet powerful enough to depict the potential complexities of a business process
  6. Vendor neutral with wide tools support

This article which is divided into four parts is intended to provide an introduction to the Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN). The basics of the BPMN notation will be described - that is, the types of graphical objects that comprise the notation and how they work together as part of a Business Process Diagram. Also it illustrates how you can create and draw BPMN diagrams with Visual Paradigm.

Basic Constructs

There are five basic categories of BPMN elements. Each of them represent a unique aspect of business process.


01 swimlanes

Swimlanes are graphical containers that represent participants of a process. Pools and lanes are the two kinds of swimlanes and we will talk about them in detail in part II of this tutorial.

Flow Elements

02 flow elements

Flow elements are elements that connect with each other to form business workflows. Flow elements are the primary elements that define the behavior of a process. There are three kinds of flow elements: Events, Activities and Gateways. We will talk about them in part III of this tutorial.

Connecting Objects

03 connecting objects

Flow objects are not isolated, but rather connected in order to form a flow. The connectors that connect the flow objects are called connecting objects. There are four kinds of connecting objects: Sequence flows, message flows, associations and data associations. We will talk about them in part III of this tutorial.


04 data

Data is mainly information needed or produced when executing a business process. There are four kinds of data: Data objects, data inputs, data outputs and data stores. We will talk about them in part IV of this tutorial.


05 artifacts

Artifacts provide additional information about a business process. We will talk about the two kinds of artifacts, groups and text annotations in part IV of this tutorial.

Other Parts of Introduction to BPMN

  1. Part II - Swimlanes
  2. Part III - Flow and Connecting Objects
  3. Part IV - Data and Artifacts

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